Truthout Daily Newsletter 1/21/2010

Truthout Daily Newsletter 1/21/2010

Thursday 21 January 2010

ACORN Controversy: A Video Interview With CEO Bertha Lewis
Matt Renner, Truthout: “The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has been a prime target for conservative groups and politicians. I sat down with Bertha Lewis, CEO and chief organizer for ACORN to discuss the recent events and the state of the organization.”
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Supreme Court Decision Radically Overhauls Campaign Finance Laws in Favor of Corporations
Kyle Berlin, Truthout: “In a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that portends massive changes in campaign finance, corporations will no longer be banned from spending money on presidential or Congressional elections.”
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Robert Reich | Why Obama Is Now (Finally) Getting Tough on Wall Street
Robert Reich, RobertReich.org: “Obama is now, finally, getting tough on Wall Street. Today he’s giving his support to two measures critically important for making sure the Street doesn’t relapse into another financial crisis: (1) separating the functions of investment banking from commercial banking (basically, resurrecting the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act) so investment banks can’t gamble with insured commercial deposits, and (2) giving regulatory authorities power to limit the size of big banks so they don’t become ‘too big to fail,’ as antitrust laws do with every other capitalist entity.”
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Moving Beyond the Failed Consultancy Class
Joe Brewer, Truthout: “Are you one of the millions of progressives grieving about the catastrophic fiasco that happened in Massachusetts yesterday? Wondering why it is that a Republican took the Senate seat in one of our most beloved – and deeply blue – states? This event is a tremendous learning opportunity for us.”
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Will You Be a Victim of Killer Coal?
Joshua Frank, Truthout: “So, you thought inhaling glue or driving without a seatbelt was bad for your health? Try living next to a coal-fired power plant. That’s the diagnosis that Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) relayed to the public in a comprehensive medical study released on November 18, 2009, called ‘Coal’s Assault of Human Health.'”
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Robert Scheer | What Massachusetts Got Right
Robert Scheer, Truthout: “The president got creamed in Massachusetts. No amount of blaming this disastrous outcome on the weaknesses of the local Democratic candidate or her Republican opponent’s strengths can gainsay that fact.”
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Obama’s Record on Civil Liberties Garners Mixed Results
Grace Huang, Truthout: “While the Obama administration has made progress in its first year on some civil liberties and civil rights issues, its record on others such as privacy and surveillance is mixed, according to a report prepared this week by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).”
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Solidarity, Not Charity: Helping Haitians Help Themselves
Randall Amster J.D., Ph.D., Truthout: “In the wake of a disaster such as Haiti is experiencing right now, there’s a strong impetus to help coming from people across a wide range of persuasions and perspectives. This is a good thing, of course, and yet even empathetic intentions can go awry when they foster conditions that can leave vulnerable people in a permanent state of dependency.”
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Tough Minds and Tender Hearts
Kathy Kelly, Truthout: “I spent Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in Washington, DC, as part of the Witness Against Torture fast, which campaigns to end all forms of torture, and has worked steadily for an end to indefinite detention of people imprisoned in Guantanamo, Bagram, and other secret sites where the US has held and tortured prisoners.”
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When the Media Is the Disaster: Covering Haiti
Rebecca Solnit, TomDispatch.com: “Soon after almost every disaster the crimes begin: ruthless, selfish, indifferent to human suffering, and generating far more suffering. The perpetrators go unpunished and live to commit further crimes against humanity. They care less for human life than for property. They act without regard for consequences.”
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Froma Harrop | The Real Miracle Happened Four Years Ago
Froma Harrop, Truthout: “The miracle in Massachusetts was made possible through a bigger miracle four years ago. That’s when the commonwealth became the first and so far only state to guarantee near-universal coverage.”
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The Voices of Participatory Democracy in Venezuela (Video)
Hans Bennett, UpsideDownWorld.org: “There are many different ways that the corporate media continues to misrepresent the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. Many critics of this biased media coverage have directly challenged the demonization of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but very few critics, if any, have exposed the media’s virtual erasure of the vibrant and growing participatory democracy in Venezuela.”
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Six Deadly Chemicals You’re Carrying in Your Body
E. Huff, NaturalNews.com: “A recent biomonitoring study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, has revealed that out of 212 chemicals tested, all 212 were found to be in the blood and urine of most Americans. Six chemicals in particular, found in virtually every person, were identified by the CDC as probable health hazards.”
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Haiti: Aid or the Marines?
Bruno Odent, L’Humanite: “Although Haiti needs an exceptional international mobilization, Washington’s assumption of military control there assumes some counterproductive aspects and is not without ulterior geo-strategic motives.”
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GRITtv: Resisting the Shock Doctrine in Haiti
GRITtv with Laura Flanders: “The Heritage Foundation didn’t wait very long after the earthquake in Haiti to issue its recommendations for Shock Doctrine-style ‘reforms,’ and the IMF has already offered a conditional loan to help rebuild. Haiti has seen enough of this type of policy already, and is in need of a different type of thinking: one not imposed from without, but developed from within the country and its communities.”
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Bill Moyers Journal | America’s Energy Challenge
Bill Moyers Journal: “Faced with the increasing global demand for oil and the threat of climate change, America needs a new energy policy – but what are our options? Bill Moyers sits down with Public Agenda analysts Jean Johnson and Scott Bittle to discuss how we can power America’s future and why we should ‘work the problem’ rather than listening to extremes on either side.”
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